Local Pet Shelters in Crisis, Foster Homes Desperately Needed

A cat sitting in a cradle.

Brother Wolf Animal Rescue has put out an urgent plea for foster homes due to the current shelter overpopulation crisis.

According to Best Friends Animal Society, about 100,000 more dogs and cats in U.S. shelters are at risk of being euthanized compared to this time last year. With North Carolina already consistently ranked as the third worst state in the U.S. when it comes to the euthanasia rates of shelter animals, Brother Wolf reports that shelters in our region are in crisis.

“We’re receiving desperate pleas from partner shelters every single day,” said Leah Craig Fieser, Executive Director of Brother Wolf Animal Rescue. “Area shelters who thought they had moved past euthanizing for space are back in that heartbreaking reality. We’re doing everything we can to save lives but we need help. There are just so many animals in need right now.”


A recent study estimates that over 2.7 million pets in the U.S. were unable to be spayed/neutered due to COVID shutdowns. “That means that more households are having accidental litters and bringing those puppies and kittens to their local shelter,” said Fieser. “Spay-neuter efforts have been instrumental in decreasing euthanasia and pet homelessness rates in this country since the 1970. A 2.7 million gap in surgeries will push progress back dramatically. To backslide this much is heartbreaking. To see the faces of the animals who are in dire situations due to this is soul crushing.”

Brother Wolf is currently helping a community member who has ten two-month-old shepherd mix puppies living in a wire crate in their backyard. Brother Wolf is working to find foster placement for all the puppies and is scheduling the mother dog to come to them for spay surgery on their low-cost, mobile spay-neuter bus.

In addition to spay-neuter impacts, rising inflation is leading to families suffering economically with the average U.S. household now spending an additional $296 per month according to a Moody’s Analytics analysis. Resulting financial challenges, and often housing changes, have left some families in a situation where they can not continue to care for their pets.

Brother Wolf Animal Rescue acts as a support system to a network of over 25 partner shelters and takes in animals from them when they are full or have medically needy animals who they are unable to help. These partner shelters are typically small, rural, overburdened shelters without a foster network and with few resources.

“The more foster homes we have available, the more animals we can save,” says Sara Groce, Brother Wolf’s Volunteer Programs Manager. Brother Wolf is seeking foster homes that can commit to taking puppies, dogs, kittens, or cats for a minimum of two weeks. Brother Wolf provides all of the supplies and education needed and is available to support foster families 24/7. Signing up to be a foster is easy and can be done on Brother Wolf’s website at www.bwar.org/foster. If you’re unable to foster, Brother Wolf encourages monetary and supply donations as other ways to support shelter animals right now.

A Brother Wolf supporter is currently matching monetary donations, up to $15,000, to support incoming animals’ needs during this critical time. More information available at https://www.bwar.org/shelters-in-crisis/